MTA announces service disruptions to E, F and R lines starting next month

R train (file photo)
File Photo by Ben Brachfeld

Subway service for Queens riders on the E, F and R lines will be disrupted starting next month so the MTA can upgrade its decades-old signal system.

The work will begin on March 17 and will impact the three lines during the evening and overnight hours seven days per week. The closures will affect riders in Queens.

The MTA did not say how many days or weeks the overnight disruptions will last for—just saying that they will start on March 17.

The agency plans to work on rolling out its Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signal system during the closures, which the MTA says will allow it to run trains more frequently and on time.

Starting March 17, the E, F and R lines will have the following overnight changes.

Queens bound R train service will end at Queens Plaza starting at 9:30 p.m. each night. To service R riders, the Queens-bound E and F trains will run local in Queens during these hours. There will be no change in Brooklyn-bound R service.

Given the change, Queens-bound E trains will no longer be running express after 9:30 p.m. from Queens Plaza to Forest Hills-71 Av. There will be no change in Manhattan bound E service.  

Furthermore, after 9:30 p.m., Queens-bound F trains will run local from 36 St, Queens, to Forest Hills-71 Av, continuing to Jamaica-179 St. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn-bound F trains will run local from Forest Hills – 71 Av to 36 St. in Astoria starting at 10:45 p.m.

The MTA says that the work is critical and being in done during the overnight hours to ensure minimal impact to customers.